Shift your Paradigms with Appreciative Inquiry


Module 1

Welcome to the first module of the Shift your Paradigms with Appreciative Inquiry Course.

We are excited to embark with you on this journey to discover how we can shift our paradigms by making use of Appreciative Inquiry.

Some practical information:

Each lesson here takes about 20min, whereby some lessons contain optional content that goes beyond the 20min-mark. You can choose for yourself whether you want to dive deeper into the optional content to learn more.

We suggest you go through the lessons of each module within the first 1,5 weeks of the module and then schedule your buddy call. The buddy call instructions are below in the box.

If you have any questions in between, please contact us via mail ( &/

We look forward to seeing you then at the end of the module for our closing call at the 25th of January 2023 at 16:00-17:30 CET. You can join the call via this link.


Lesson 1:

What is actually a Paradigm Shift?


A paradigm shift happens when our current way of understanding and explaining the world does not fit with our observation of reality anymore. When our theories and beliefs on how life functions and how things “ought to be” get seriously questioned by the facts that point towards a new truth. Those moments can feel challenging.

Joep has a beautiful way at looking at these moments of being challenged and facing a problem. He says that “A problem is nothing else but a frustrated dream, whereby the dream was there first.” Let’s see together what that means in the video on the right side …

Whant to dive deeper?

Originally the term “paradigm shift” was coined by Thomas Kuhn who explained it in the realm of science. If you want to read more about what he meant by that and how he explains paradigm shifts, its preconditions and how they unfold, please follow this rabbit hole

There’s a beautifully described example of a personal paradigm shift in Brené Brown’s book: “The gifts of imperfection. In the video above I read it out to you.



Lesson 2:

How is a paradigm shift different from innovation?

A paradigm shift on a personal level affects not only one part of our life. It’s not merely a new invention, a new product or process which allows us to do things with our old assumptions but in a (slightly) different way. It affects us on a deeper level. Or rather: it affects us on several levels, namely how we think, feel and ultimately behave, In other words: it affects our whole being. It changes how we look at the world and where we position us in relationship to others and the world. Therefore it’s not just affecting a part of our life, it’s not just something we place into our life, like a new book in our bookshelf or a new way of cooking our meals with a new kitchen device. It’s a shift in mindset that will most likely affect many, if not all of your areas in life and the people around us. In a way you could say a paradigm shift on a personal level is comparable with quantum leap in consciousness.



Lesson 3:

Why using Appreciative Inquiry to shift paradigms?


Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a an approach, a way of looking at and being in the world that helps us to go on a journey from our current truth as being „the only truth“ and being stuck there to a space where we can hold multiple perspective and realities. Once AI has helped us in one aspect/struggle/challenge, we’ll see that it has the power to change our view on life and even us as a person. In deeply understanding that we can choose what we study and how we write the book of our lifes, we become deliberate in how we react to others, circumstances that we encounter and Life in general. It helps us to become more tolerant, understanding and mild with ourselves, each other and the world. AI therewith gives us access to solutions and ways of seeing and being that we couldn’t see before. It is a wonderful approach that enables us to shift our personal paradigms and possibly even go beyond and be the shift for other people, too.

We look forward to sharing this powerful approach one principle at a time in the course of the next months.


Lesson 4:

What do you wish to shift?

Our invitation for this learning journey is that you apply what you learn about Appreciative Inquiry to a question or a struggle in your life that you are dealing with right now. If nothing popps up immediately, you might want to ask yourself one of the following questions:

  • What is a change in my life I would like to see?
  • What is a topic I feel stuck with right now?
  • What’s a recurring loop I would like to get out of?
  • In which areas in my life do I feel I need to make fundamental shifts?

You might find your topic in the area of your work, but it could be also something in your personal life. Maybe you struggle with an interpersonal challenge (e.g. a quarrel with your partner/colleagues/…. ) or with something that is more concerning your relationship with yourself. You choose your own change project.

Once you have decided upon your topic, take the 20min to journal with the help of the following question to clarify your change project for yourself:

  • How do I look at my challenge right now?
  • What cannot be explained/solved by the way I look at it right now?
  • Which area(s) of my life is affected by that?

These questions around your frustrated dream are your starting point for your personal appreciaitive inquiry of the next 2,5 months. They don’t have to be perfect, they can evolve over time. For the time being start by taking them into your next buddy call.

The invitation is also to be patient, to not race to the answers right now, but to stay curious and open to let your change project transform by what you learn over the course of this learning journey. The change might become more encompassing then you think right now…

The Buddy Call

Before we meet in the large group for the closing call of each module you have the possibility to digest and deepen your understanding of the material you learned about during the module. You do that in a call of 1h with your buddies.

The following script is a suggestion for you for a 60min call with your buddies. It helps you as a group allocate the 60 min effectively to dive deeper into the topics. It also helps you to give each of you equal time to speak and listen. You are of course free to make your call longer or shorter as you wish. If you do so, make sure everyone has approximately equal time to listen and to share.

  1. Take 10 min for a check-in to help yourself and each other to land in the circle. Two possible check-in question can be:
    – on a scale from 1-10: how do I feel today?
    – on a scale from 1-10: how happy am I with my progress with the course material?
    -> decide who’s going to be the time keeper in the group
    -> decide who’s starting with sharing
  2. Now the first speaker takes 7 min to share:
    – What is your change project about?
    – What is the challenge and what is your current thinking & feeling around it?
    For the listener(s): listen closely to what the 1st person has to share, when the 7 min are over: take 2 min to reflect upon what the storyteller said and how you can relate to the feelings and insights your counterpart shared. What images, feelings in your body, etc. came up when you heard the first person share?
    Kind reminder: It’s not your sharing time yet, to come up with your own topics, but an opportunity to reflect upon what the first storyteller shared.
    The first person that shared my then take another minute to share what s/he takes from the reflection of the listeners.
  3. Then change roles and and share again following step 2 in now in the new role constellation (10’),
  4. Repeat that pattern, if you have a third buddy in your group.
  5. Now start an open and free flowing conversation, inspired by what each one of you has shared and heard from the steps 2-4.
    Is there any topic that you’d like us to go deeper in the closing call of this module, then please feel free to send me a mail at
  6. Before your call ends (around minute 55 of your call) : take 5 min to check out:
    – put the timer on 1 min and be together in silence
    – in this one minute of silence that the 1,2 or 3 words come to you with which you want to close the call:
    – share these 1, 2, or 3 words with one another to close the call